The Court Technology and Trial Presentation Blawg features articles, reviews and news of interest to lawyers and other legal professionals. This blog is published by Ted Brooks, a Trial Presentation and Legal Technology Consultant, Author and Speaker. Ted's trial experience includes the Los Angeles Dodgers divorce trial, People v. Robert Blake murder trial, and a hundreds of high profile, high value and complex civil matters.

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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Judiciary Opinions on Technology in Trial

A recent article in the San Jose Mercury News (Courtrooms now aglow with high-tech methods for telling better visual tale) shared the “non-legal” perspective of courtroom technology, referencing a number of high-profile matters, including the Robert Blake murder trial, Los Angeles Dodgers divorce trial, the San Francisco Zoo tiger mauling case, and the DeAnza baseball team gang rape case. The article demonstrates the importance and impact of adding visual persuasion to your trial presentation, and that jurors and judges alike find it compelling.

Image: Litigation Media Group

Rather than attempting to convince or explain why an attorney should want to bother with the added expense and work involved to incorporate trial technology into their practice, and/or why you probably shouldn’t attempt to handle the technology yourself while trying your case (which I’ve already done in Trial Presentation in Large and Complex Cases), I will share a few comments from the Judiciary.

“I was trying cases when you got your felt pen out or wrote on a blackboard. And now, of course, technology exists, and I’ve tried some cases with a lot of in-courtroom technology being used and it’s very good, if well done. But! It can be screwed up. If it collapses on you, now you’ve a problem. Or if you can’t run it right, you have a problem. But, if done right, you have a great thing because juries are used to video presentations, bits and pieces of information being sent at them. So I think it works well, if done right.” – Hon. Joseph Huber, Santa Clara County Superior Court

Juries seem to love visuals, even if it’s just jury instructions. I see it more and more.” -- Hon. Jerome E. Brock, Santa Clara County Superior Court.
"I want you to know that you have had an opportunity by being jurors on this case to participate in one of the most well-prepared, if not the most well-prepared, cases that I have seen, that you have been on the cutting edge as far as technology in the courtroom, that you have had an opportunity to see a case presented by people who clearly know what they're doing and how to do it. We have some technology that I have not used in my courtroom before. And we all had some concern about how is that going to work, and it worked very, very well." – Hon. Bonnie Sabraw (ret.), Alameda County Superior Court

If you’re a litigator, you don’t have to learn technology or change the style in which you try your cases, just as your clients don’t need to go to law school in order for you to represent them. If your case and client warrant calling in a trial presentation expert, it’s an easy decision.

Ted Brooks
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415-291-9900 San Francisco

Trial Consulting Network

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